U-M Professors Develop New Minimally Invasive Surgery Tech

By Jon Zemke

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Minimally invasive surgery done with robotics isn’t as simple and cheap as it sounds. It’s a quandary the co-founders behind FlexDex are looking to help solve with their new surgical technology.

The University of Michigan spin-out is developing a surgical tool that provides high dexterity, intuitive control and natural force feedback while emphasizing ergonomics and affordability. Its claim to fame is delivering enhanced functionality through a simple mechanical hand-held tool that is significantly more cost effective than the complex, multi-million dollar robotic tools that can work at a similar level of precision.

“FlexDex is a minimally invasive surgical technology that provides enhanced dexterity and surgical control at an affordable price,” says Shorya Awtar, who co-founded FlexDex with James Geiger.

The Ann Arbor-based start-up has recently hired a CEO to expand its staff to three people and is starting to raise seed capital to commercialize it technology. It has a prototype but is aiming to have a finished market prototype and begin clinical trials within the next year.

FlexDex recently pitched its technology at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. There its executive team also boasted that the new technology leads to less pain in patients, fewer infections and shorter hospital stays.

“The benefits to the patient are significant,” Awtar says.

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